This weekend, Formula 1 returns to one of the most iconic tracks in motorsport. The Monaco Grand Prix is among the most prestigious sporting events, and this Sunday both Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc will be looking to leave their mark on it.
According to the F1 odds at Betway, Ferrari’s Leclerc is the favorite to win his home race by a slim margin, followed by Red Bull’s Verstappen and Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz.
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Monaco Grand Prix Odds
Odds as of May 26 at Betway
One trait that the Monaco Grand Prix shares with the Spanish Grand Prix is that overtaking is hard on both tracks, albeit for different reasons.
So when Leclerc had a commanding lead in the race and looked to be in complete control, most Ferrari fans felt relieved after Max Verstappen’s resurgence over weekends prior.
However, it wasn’t meant to be for the Monagasque as the Ferrari, which has been incredibly reliable throughout this season, had an issue with the power unit, forcing Leclerc to retire.
Verstappen took the race win with Perez in second, as Sainz, who had spun out earlier in the race, earned a fourth-place finish, capping off a frustrating weekend for Ferrari.
As a result of the events of the Spanish Grand Prix, current world champion Max Verstappen is in the lead for the drivers championship and Red Bull is in the lead for the constructors championship.
Given that the Ferrari has had the best downforce on the track this year, it naturally followed that the Ferrari chewed through its tires much more easily compared to the Red Bull, which has a low-downforce design philosophy.
However, going by Mattia Binotto’s remarks after the race, it seems that the Ferrari has struck a better balance between achieving high downforce and low tire degradation. This is certainly something to watch out for as the season progresses.
Leclerc Is The Odds-On Favorite
Despite a disappointing weekend in Spain, Ferrari has reason to be buoyed for the Monaco Grand Prix.
After all, the team has been utterly dominant in qualifying so far this year, and Monaco is a track where overtaking is nearly impossible, so the pole sitter’s position is not under the same threat as it would be at other circuits. Moreover, the power unit issue seems to have been an aberration.
Moreover, Monaco demands a high-downforce, low-drag setup, which is precisely what Ferrari possesses.
In contrast, the Red Bull has a low-downforce, high-drag setup that is very well suited to tracks that demand a high top speed, but not as well suited to a track like Monaco, where acceleration and grip are much more important than having a high top speed.
So, it comes as no surprise that Charles Leclerc, who took pole position in last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, is atop the odds table.
Monaco Grand Prix Value Pick
Experts and pundits have firmly shifted their focus away from the Mercedes F1 team, but the eight-time constructors champions are ominously getting closer and closer to achieving much better performance.
Although Ferrari and Red Bull had a clear pace advantage over Mercedes in Spain, they have come a long way from where they were when the season started.
George Russell has quietly finished in the top five at all the races so far this year and is currently fourth in the drivers championship standings.
Both he and the Mercedes team have shown a resolve to outperform the car and are surely going to be in the hunt for top honors in case there are retirements at the top of the field.
History Of The Monaco Grand Prix
This track was built several centuries ago when Monaco was established as a colony of Genoa. Its first race, however, was in 1929 when Antony Noghes, a cigarette manufacturer, organized a race with members of the Automobile Club de Monaco.
The first Formula 1 race was over two decades later, in 1950. The Monaco Grand Prix has been consistently featured on the F1 calendar since 1955.
The Monaco Grand Prix is steeped in motorsport history, and is very much a bridge from the racing of old to today. The 3.3-kilometre-long track hosted the first-ever F1 race 72 years ago, in 1950, and the track has largely remained unchanged since then.
It’s full of tight low-speed corners and punishing barriers, and given this characteristic of the track, it is a real test of a driver’s focus and commitment.
Monaco Grand Prix Betting Strategy
Monaco is a race where the pole sitter is best suited to win the Grand Prix, given how difficult it is to overtake.
That is why, considering Ferrari’s immense qualifying performance so far this year, and also given Charles Leclerc’s familiarity with the track (he was born and raised in the principality of Monaco), we fully expect him to get his first victory at his home race.
While we certainly shouldn’t be counting out Red Bull from outperforming at Monaco, as they have done numerous times in the past, we believe that Leclerc and Ferrari are simply better suited to this track and will be taking at least one podium spot.
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